All the new capabilities of the Finnish Army are in commission within the Arrow 17 exercise. The new Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks, BMP-2 MDs and unmanned aerial vehicles enhance mobility, effective engagement operations and situational awareness of the Finnish Army. The Commander of the Häme Armoured Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Juhana Skyttä, tells that the achieved experiences have been excellent.
The effective engagement operations are based on collaboration. Lieutenant Colonel Juhana Skyttä finds that there are several tactical principles on the background.
“Combined effects of gun systems, cooperation between military branches, force concentration and execution capability,” Skyttä itemizes. He describes that the tactical mobility of the Army’s mechanised forces is remarkably good. According to Skyttä the mobility rests on a unit’s equipment.
“Mechanised troops have modern, track-base tanks in use. This troop is able to move in all circumstances, he says.
The battle group’s ability to the effective engagement operations is based on the diversity of tracked vehicles. “We are using both assault tanks and battle tanks,” Skyttä specifies.
In the Arrow 17 exercise the first Leopard 2 A6 company is training at full strength. There is also in use, the modernized BMP-2 assault tanks and unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Skyttä these vehicles are fit for the Finnish surroundings very well.
“We’ve got excellent experiences of the new system’s capability. Although these systems are now at the first time in use in conscript training, the systems have proved to be workable in our surroundings.”
The Commander of the Häme Armoured Battalion is satisfied with the new vehicles. “In this exercise, the Leopard 2 A6 tanks as well as the modernized BMP-2 assault tanks have worked well,” he adds.
The most significant new capabilities are growth in firepower and development of operating in dark.
“Leopard 2 A6 tanks are different to Leopard 2 A4 tanks in terms of firepower and protection features. For example, a longer tube increases a tank round’s penetrating capability.
New optical equipment increases capability of BMP-2 tanks in the dark, he adds.
Lieutenant Colonel Skyttä says that the Orbiter 2B Mini UAS unmanned aerial vehicle system creates benefits that are related to situational awareness.
“With this system, we get new type of information. The situational awareness we get with the system has an influence on decision-making process, Skyttä says.
The Arrow 17 exercise has trained personnel to put together the new gun systems and the existing capabilities.
“One objective of this exercise has been to learn how to connect the unmanned aerial vehicles to the ensemble. Apart from that, the exercise has trained individual soldiers, it has also trained leaders at all levels to make the most of the new capabilities.”
The international feature in Arrow 17 has given an opportunity to compare capabilities with the other countries.
“With Arrow 17, we have got important practice with international troops. I’m very proud and satisfied with the action of our own troops. The cooperation with the international troops has gone seamlessly,” Skyttä concludes.